Hero Story - Profiles


Cathy Stokes, CTIS: A One Woman Show on the Go

Right out of college, Cathy Stokes, CTIS, began working with seniors through her local Parks and Recreation department's adult program. Despite not having any travel experience at the time, Stokes dove right in when those in the program expressed their willingness to hit the road.

Five Minutes with … Carylann Assante, CAE

Carylann Assante, CAE is a lifelong learner with a passion for travel that began with her family's annual vacation. Her desire to travel led her to major in art and languages at Vanderbilt University, where she studied abroad in Spain and France.

While her original plan was to travel art collections, she switched to people when she began her career at a historic hotel in Washington DC. She specialized in meetings and events in the hospitality industry, student and youth programs in higher education and leading not-for-profits and associations. She eventually became the CEO of SYTA and the SYTA Youth Foundation and today leads this global association for student and youth travel.

Marcie Ellison Outerbridge: Not Sitting on the Sidelines of Life

Though Marcie Ellison Outerbridge, General Manager, Sales, Group Travel, Ellison Travel & Tours, officially joined her family business in 2004, her background in travel truly began in 1980 when her father started the company, known then as "It's a Small World Travel."

"Travel was a part of my life from then on, whether I was hopping on a day trip to Canada's Wonderland or joining a group trip with my Dad to NYC," Ellison Outerbridge explained. "My first job with Ellison was cleaning the office and eventually I worked there on Saturdays and in the summers."

Five Minutes With ... Clarence E. Cox, III

Owner, Georgia Coach Lines | President, Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association | Chairman, African American Motorcoach Council

Clarence E. Cox, III didn't always work in travel, though his family roots in the industry go back to 1985 when Georgia Coach Lines was officially established. While growing up, Cox dabbled as a driver and cleaner for the church buses Cox's father and uncle drove on the weekends. Cox, whose background is originally in law enforcement, officially took over the company full time after his uncle passed in 2017.

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